5 min read
04 Sep

Let’s discuss current fashion trends for this autumn. I’m excited to start this discussion as I feel this could be my favourite fashion season EVER.  These trends are absolutely perfect for me… and maybe for you too. 

This season is all about statement-making looks with a nod to our recent reliance on comfort.  It’s a season that echoes my hope for my ideal look and personality: a punchy yet sophisticated vibe combined with an entrenched need for relaxation. 

I need fashion to handle me gently. We’ve spent a year in track suits and are now like caterpillars emerging from our fleece, poly-cotton mix cocoons. I may be off lounge-wear but am not willing to abandon the idea of comfort. 

We all need clothes that flatter and empower us, that make us feel good about what we look like and who we are on the inside. We all can walk with more sass when we feel and look good. I believe this season’s trends suit me perfectly… and may for you as well. It is the best combination of practical and fun fashion that I’ve seen in years. I’m excited for us. 

Below is a list of this season's fashion trends with my thoughts why they are perfect for me ... and maybe for you too. 

Autumn ’21 Fashion Trends. 

Bright and Bold Colours: Statement colours are a must! Fuchsia, Turquoise and Green (especially Emerald, Kelly Green, Jade) are hot now. Wear brilliant and vivid tones. I love bright colours and the happy vibe they give me. Monochrome colour is also on trend. Echo one bright colour theme throughout the outfit. Wear bright tights too. Check and check.   

Layering: Yes, please! This trend is perfect for women like me who get hot flushes. Put the layers on and off. Constantly. That’s a much better choice than freezing or sweating. And layers are also perfect for hiding the results of the extra nibbles or sips we enjoy. Just saying… 

Knits: Thank you, Tom Daley and Greta Thunberg - knits are trendy! Especially fashionable are longer knits to layer on top (see previous bullet) - like a sleeveless sweater or jacket. Neutral knits layered over bright colours is spot on. Time to get knitting! 

Volume: Big, flowing, billowy fabric. Whoop whoop! Comfortable but trendy. Thank you. I love that I can segue from my beloved DryRobe to urban wear (more on this later). 

Wide legged trousers: Absolutely my favourite shape. Perfect for a sophisticated vibe with a nod to relaxation. This shape is also more flattering on most of us. Especially on trend this season is velvet. 

Baggy Jeans: Let’s all celebrate the fact that skinny, straight and cropped jeans are out! This look never looked good on most of us, and especially not on full figured and/ or tall women of which I am both.  Baggy jeans are my saviour. Thank Heaven above that the comfiest shape ever invented is aligned with the coolest. Life is good.

Suits: Perhaps with a nod to returning to the office, suits are back in. Strong coloured suits with jackets and trousers that are relaxed and flared. I’m so excited. Reminds me of the show Dallas. Shame shoulder pads are not in. 

My musings on fashion trends 

Best Trend of All: 

I like this current trend featured throughout the the U.K. and recently popularised by Mrs. Boris Johnson (thank you, Carrie), of hiring fashionable outfits. Renting appeals to me not only because it makes financial sense, but also because it is less wasteful. How many of us have too many frocks just languishing in our closets? These outfits are all shrinking whilst gathering dust? I love that hiring now includes fashionable, trendy clothes and are no longer simply the costume cast-offs from the theatre. It’s fabulous that trendy labels and accessories are now hireable for all uses, formal functions and also day-time wear. 

I'd like to encourage shops to make available dress sizes for women who do not have model size figures. It is not easy hiring dresses size 14+. But still, I'm a supporter of the good practice of hiring - and returning- fashions. 

Activity fashionistas may have a point 

I am utterly besotted by something new in my wardrobe. What’s even more fun is that it ticks most of the trend categories mentioned above for Autumn '21. This purchase is something I scoffed at when I first saw it this summer but now I’m completely devoted. That change in attitude taught me something about myself. I’m going to try to judge less and accept more. That applies to more than just fashion. Who would have thought one can learn a life lesson from fashion? Let me explain… 

From judgmental to converted: 

I am always fascinated about the ubiquitous herd of activity fashionistas. I mean the ardent followers of styles with seeming little regard to practicality, necessity, cost or even attractiveness. These people flock to the activity du jour and must wear the “in” style ... even if they aren’t experienced in the activity. 

You know what I mean by activity fashionistas. The people with “all the gear and no idea”. For example, the “skier” on the slope (or après ski restaurant) with the most expensive, new designer moon boots or the most high-tech puffer jacket. Usually, they stay at the café as they can’t ski. Or the MAPIL: the Middle Aged Person In Lycra we see walking their bicycles around town. I usually notice them in my peripheral vision and must admit I roll my eyes. 

Activity fashionistas exist in all sports, including cycling, horse riding, tennis, golf (how many sets of clubs do we really need?). Even on holidays on the Cornish seaside, as I witnessed this summer. I don’t understand activity fashionistas…. At least I didn’t until this summer. Now I’m one of them. A happy follower and convert to a herd. Let me explain…. 

When I first arrived at my favourite English seaside spot last month, I noticed lots of fashionistas all donning these fleece duvet coats called by the generic term dry robes. I now know they’ve been around for a while, but this was my first exposure to them as I'm usually not in the UK for the summer. At first, I was shocked.

Dry robes are not flattering. For those that haven't seen them yet, they make people look like human dirigibles. They are bigger, grander, more massive than the terry cloth hooded robes we - and our kids- used decades ago.  Dry robes are vast, warm, hooded, water-proof and wind-proof sleeping bags with arms. They are an odd and slightly ridiculous sight. Yet, yet they are amazing. I am totally besotted. 

OK, I admit I initially scoffed at and judged the people wearing these duvet-coats whilst standing fully dressed by the water. It’s one thing to need a dry robe if you are coming out of the freezing water after swimming 5 K against the tide, but are they really necessary if you are fully dressed, sipping hot chocolate on the pier simply spectating water sports? Yes. The answer is yes. The wind is biting, the rain cold and the water spraying up at you is frigid…and these fashion monstrosities are heaven sent solutions. And that’s when I learned something important.

Lessons I’ve learned 

I have noted the importance in not passing initial judgements, including on fashion trends. Everyone has their own need barometer. Fashionistas are successful because they appeal to their followers' needs … for me is to stay warm. 

These activity fashionistas were warm and cosy and I wasn’t. Within a few days I bought a dry robe and joined them quayside, much warmer and thus happier. When you’re freezing and the wind and rain are lashing down (a regular phenomenon for Cornwall summers), these robes are Heaven sent. 

I am also aware that purchasing a £150 coat doesn’t make me a fully-fledged activity fashionista. But it sort of does. I purchased an in-trend layer because others were wearing it. I followed them and am now devoted.  What this process has taught me is to resist making initial judgements on people’s choices. I’ve also noted that popular fashion trends fill a need- whether that’s practical or emotional. Respect to the activity fashionistas! 

But can someone please explain to me the point of toe-less boots?

I’m so devoted to my dry robe that I’m actually plotting how I can integrate this seaside necessity into my autumn urban life.   I know that importing these security blankets into my urban life is not practical. It’s like bringing back that cheap local rose wine you love from a holiday on the Med: it never tastes the same at home. That being said, I’m hatching a plan to wear the dry robe tonight as my over -layer to a friend’s formal 50th birthday celebration. According to the fashion trend for this season I can: I can layer and wear something big and relaxed over bright coloured, more formal evening wear. Tick. Tick. Tick. Happiness.

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